Like many districts, the Ackley-Geneva-Wellsburg-Steamboat Rock (AGWSR) School District in central Iowa faces some of the common issues arising from buildings starting to show their age. For example:
Paging systems that no longer function properly or are difficult to expand and modify
Structural design that makes running additional wiring expensive and challenging
A lack of integrated notification systems for things like fire alarms or lockdowns
A growing need to communicate with students or staff, but no options for doing so that aren't disruptive
When the time came in the summer of 2022 for a major renovation of their elementary and middle school buildings in Wellsburg, director of technology Mark Culver was specifically in search of a solution to their failed paging system.
But instead of just an audio solution, he found something better.
He found American Time's EverAlert system.
A Broad-Spectrum Solution
"Nobody wants another thing to add to the plate," Culver explained. "It's great that the one system can handle so many different solutions."
Not only was EverAlert the answer to the problem with the paging system -- staff has also embraced using the digital messaging features to communicate unobtrusively through the building, and the school bell system has transitioned to operating on the EverAlert system and being managed on the inCloud Management Portal.
With a display in each classroom and large TVs with connected Dynamic Views in the hallways, gym and cafeteria, every corner of the school is connected. Since AGWSR chose to power their EverAlerts using PoE+ technology, installation was straightforward, not requiring the time, expense or complication of bringing in someone to run additional high-voltage infrastructure for each display.
"We've got almost 50 of these in the school and only had to add five power outlets for the TVs," Culver said. "That's impressive."
Most importantly, EverAlert has made everyone's lives easier.
Some examples? In Culver's words:
"We had a late start one morning while I was out of the district and I'd forgotten to change the bells to our late-start schedule. I was sitting at a Starbucks and pulled out my phone, and was able to do it from there."
"The secretary used to have to manage the bell system through the phone and make all these adjustments. Now it's just a couple of clicks for her on inCloud."
"We have all digital clocks on our displays, but state standards require us to teach how to read analog clocks in second grade. The teacher was concerned that we didn't have an analog clock in her room -- I got on [the inCloud portal], click, click, click, and I had it changed."
"I walked in this morning and the principal had a message up on the screens for the 8th graders. He did it all himself, I didn't have to show him anything."
Simple but Powerful
Culver had nothing but praise for their system.
"This has been a great experience. Staff from other schools see it and are impressed, and everyone here really likes it," he said. "And the interface is so well done. I work with a lot of software, and this is outstanding."
Most importantly, he's looking forward to expanding their use of the EverAlerts.
"The paging setup is great, and we can expand that to being able to page individual classrooms if we need to, but I really want to get them onboard with using the instant messaging since it's less disruptive," he explained. "That and the digital signage kind of stuff, like lunch menus and schedules."
"Not every project I work on is fun," Culver said. "This one was."
The EverAlert system can help keep your campus on time, in sync and informed. Click here to find out how from one of our knowledgeable and friendly expert advisors.